Tracy Gale has been working in communications for 17 years.
“I worked in everything ranging from entertainment, health and wellness products, travel, hospitality, consumer products — you name it,” says Tracy. With a Masters in mass communications and accreditation in PR, she says falling into social media was natural.
“Nine years ago, it started with engaging with bloggers, then turned into analytics work, then SEM, and finally, full-blown social and digital media,” she says.
Moving to Herbalife Nutrition gave her the chance to look at social media holistically, Tracy says.
It was her first in-house corporate job moving from the agency side, and a lot of people warned her the pace would be slower and internal bureaucracy would make it harder to get things done. “That couldn't be further from the truth working at Herbalife Nutrition,” says Tracy. “The difference is there's a core focus.”
She explains that at an agency, you're servicing anywhere from five to 15 different clients, but often focusing on social media in a vacuum. In-house at Herbalife Nutrition, while she's accountable to multiple stakeholders, she's able to focus on one brand globally.
Every social media leader will tell you, “No day is the same.”
For Tracy, that's especially true. “It could be anything from meeting with my team of five to go over the content for our corporate channels for the week, to meeting with setting direction for our global strategy,” she says.
Tracy says a typical day looks something like this:
- Meeting with any of Herbalife Nutrition's over 200 experts, registered dietitians, medical doctors, and nutritionists, many of whom are active on social media. Tracy and her team train them on best practices for being the face of the brand on social media.
- Working with their independent distributors to identify their needs and setting guidelines for how to use social media to engage with and retain their customers.
- Providing perspective for Herbalife Nutrition's executives on why things like livestreaming are important and how they can support their independent distributors with it.
- Working with legal and compliance teams to make sure their corporate channels, experts, and distributors are all educated on the latest FTC and FDA regulations.
- Emailing back and forth with social teams in different regions to review and approve campaigns.
When it comes to training, Tracy says, “A lot of people are in a hurry.”
“For some stakeholders, they want to get online and run with it. Every chance I get to educate them or provide a bit of best practice, I have to make it worth their while.”
For example, Herbalife Nutrition's dietitian and medical experts are busy traveling and performing their regular jobs. For many, it's difficult to maintain a social media presence. Tracy suggests, “If you're not committed to maintaining a social presence, you shouldn't set foot in the social world yet.”
And every time someone asks Tracy a question, she takes advantage of the educational opportunity for the whole community. When one nutritionist asked if they should be following everyone who follows them on Instagram, instead of just saying “no,” Tracy looped in the other experts to let them know why.
Right now, she's working on a modular training program for independent distributors.
It will be customized and localized to address different skill levels as well as the needs for each region.
“We need training for them to be functional, to say, ‘Here's how to do social as it applies to your business.' Our independent distributors have the greatest share of voice, so they'll have the biggest impact online.”
Tracy's been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2016. Find her on LinkedIn here.